Affordable Ways to Have Fun this Summer

By on July 14th, 2016


Having fun over the summer can be tough when you’ve no longer got your student loan to count on. Even with a part or full-time job, the costs of travel and activities can soon mount up when you’re living the good life on a regular basis.

Luckily, there are tons of events taking place in your local city, bound to keep you occupied if you’re spending the summer near campus. From one-off events to repeating attractions, each one will help you throw something new into the mix, without breaking your budget.

Have a look at these affordable events taking place this summer.


Liverpool is a city where you’d struggle to be bored, with such a constant flux of pop-ups, food trucks, charity events and meet-ups. The Liverpool Biennial 2016 in particular will be delivering a sure-fire hit of culture, with a selection of newly commissioned contemporary art from around the world.

And don’t forget International Beatleweek – a week-long celebration of one of the biggest bands in the world between 24th and 30th August. Great for entertaining visiting friends and family, or simply getting reacquainted with the iconic band, the festival will involve performances from bands of over 20 countries as well as exhibitions, memorabilia sales, tours and a convention.
Tour and accommodation packages can be pricey, but you can get a pass to the Cavern Club for just £5 all day and night.


Horsforth Food & Drink Festival is going to be a high point for foodies this summer and is fast becoming the must-do food & drink-related event of Leeds, despite only being in its second year. Taking over Hall Park on the weekend of 15-17th July, the festival will include vendors El Kantina, Yorkshire Hot Dog and Tikki’s Thai Kitchen, not to mention cooking masterclasses and an array of gins, real ales, Pimms and Prosecco.
Theatre lovers will love the chance to catch Shakespeare’s The Tempest in open grounds at the Newsam Open Air Theatre. Situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Temple Newsam Estate this fun rendition by Heartbreak Productions is bound to be a great summer’s evening with friends.

For a really cheap and cheerful afternoon, stop by Reggie’s Record Fair on 24th July, for a record fair with a difference! Whether you’re an avid collector or just starting out, you’ll be able to pick up a few bargains whilst also enjoying food stalls, listening stations, DJs and 2-4-1 Bloody Marys!


Newcastle brings its own fair share of the culture this summer thanks to The Playground Project, a new exhibition at The Baltic that’s aiming to bring back forgotten initiatives of learning; playing; creating and experimenting. On till the 30th October, the exhibition invites its visitors – both old and new – to allow their imagination run free and embrace the spirit of the playground.

The SummerTyne Americana Festival on 22-24th July is also a fun event, where attendees can spend a day or a weekend lazing in the sun with friends and soaking up the sun (hopefully!). If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, however, then Freaks! The Alternative Press & Psychadelic Underground exhibition is definitely worth a peek. An archival display of publications, posters, vinyl and merchandise that was circulated by the alternative press in 60s Britain and US, the show gives a delightful insight into beatniks’, hippies’ and drop-outs’ influence during the iconic Peace & Love movement.


Although small and quaint, Cambridge is a relatively easy town to have fun in on a limited budget. The Fitzwilliam Museum is always free – there you can catch intriguing exhibitions of some of the world’s leading artists, not to mention the museum’s current commemorative exhibition celebrating its 200th birthday.

The university’s Botanical Garden is always a pleasant place to spend a morning or afternoon, with plenty of tours and trails to explore and the Garden Cafe where you can finish with lunch or a coffee. Linton Zoo is always a great day for the young and old alike, allowing you to view a range of rare wildlife like snow leopards or albino red-necked wallaby joeys, as well as get up close and personal with the cutest of lemurs and tortoises. Entry costs just £9, but there may well be concessions for students.


The Exmouth Pavilion Cider Festival may just be one of the town’s premier outdoor events, as a delicious range of fruit and draught ciders are showcased for your tasting pleasure in Pavilion Gardens on 15th-17th July. This year there’s a ‘Mods & Rockers’ theme going on, so if you’re down for something different, this is the place to go.

An enjoyable summer’s evening can also be had at one of Killerton Garden’s Summer Theatre performances. Showing famous plays throughout July and August, this is a perfect opportunity to see Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing or Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest in a unique setting

And for those of you peeved to be missing out on Glastonbury this year, Exeter’s Glas-denbury festival has a lot to offer, with a penchant for making people smile, happy and free to be themselves. A whole weekend pass with camping costs around £70, but you can enjoy a day’s entry for just £25.


Despite its reputation for being expensive, London City actually has a good variety of activities one can do not much more than a tenner. Besides hiring a Boris bike and exploring London for just £2, you can grab a standing ticket for the London Proms at Royal Albert Hall or see a play at the Shakespeare Globe from no more than £5.

Currently worth seeing right now is the Roald Dahl Sculpture Trail, unveiled just ahead of the new BFG movie. Celebrities such as Helen Mirren, Quentin Blake and even Stephen Hawking have all designed their own ‘dream jars’, which are scattered around the city for your perusal.

And if the beckon of the beach is all too strong, head to the Urban London Beach at Royal Docks for some good ol’ sun and sand. Weather permitting, the beach is open till 30th August and free to visit – so grab a towel and some friends and get yourself down there.

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